How To Tell The Difference Between Copper & Brass

Recycling your metals is a great thing to do for your business and the environment. In order to get the most out of your recycling experience, certain steps should be taken, including separating similar metals. Two metals that you should be mindful to separate before you recycle are copper and brass, as they’re two of the most in-demand metals for recycling, yet they’re also two of the most difficult to tell apart.

The most important reason for sorting these metals is that they differ in value. While these values fluctuate, copper is generally worth about twice as much per pound compared to brass. If you want to get the most money possible for your scrap metal, it’s important to know the difference between them and how to separate them. Even if you’re unsure what kind of metals you have, you can bring them to Allied Recycling Center in Walpole, Massachusetts, and get paid for your ferrous and non-ferrous metals!

How To Differentiate Brass And Copper

The main reason that copper and brass can be hard to tell apart is that they are similar in color, but usually only from a distance. If you examine the two metals closely, you’ll see that copper has a reddish undertone while brass has a yellow undertone. Another way to tell the difference is to observe the corrosion in the metal. Corroded brass will feature patches of reddish metal, while corroded copper will feature greenish patches.

Another good way to tell these metals apart is to test their strength. Brass is stronger, while copper is much more malleable and can be worked and shaped much more easily. If you bend copper, it will typically flex before it breaks, unlike brass which would snap without flexing and require more strength to break.

Here’s another simple way to tell them apart: the sound test. If you tap your metal and it produces a high-pitched sound, it’s likely to be brass. Copper, when tapped, produces a low-pitched ring.

You can get a good idea of which is which by knowing what they were used for before they were reduced to scraps. Since brass is stronger, it’s often used for more heavy-duty jobs such as construction or making equipment. Copper, on the other hand, is a great conductor of electricity and is therefore often used in wires.

Contact Allied Recycling Center!

If you have any questions about scrap metal recycling or are looking to sell scrap metal in Southeastern Massachusetts, don’t hesitate to contact our team at Allied Recycling Center! Call us today at (508) 668-8699 or fill out the contact form on our website, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible!